Twitter staff flee after Musk’s ‘extremely hardcore’ ultimatum | Technology

Staff at social media big announce departures after Elon Musk requires ‘lengthy hours at excessive depth’.

Twitter is bleeding workers following an ultimatum by Elon Musk to be “extraordinarily hardcore” at work or give up.

Some workers took to Twitter on Thursday to announce they had been leaving after Musk despatched an e-mail to workers asking them to pledge to work “lengthy hours at excessive depth”.

“Going ahead, to construct a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and achieve an more and more aggressive world, we’ll have to be extraordinarily hardcore,” Musk wrote within the inside memo obtained by a number of media shops, including that “solely distinctive efficiency will represent a passing grade.”

“I could also be #distinctive, however gosh darn it, I’m simply not #hardcore,” tweeted Andrea Horst, a former worker.

Horst and plenty of different departing workers introduced their determination with the accompanying hashtag #lovewhereyouworked.

Whereas it’s unclear what number of workers give up following Musk’s ultimatum, the newest departures come as the corporate’s workforce is a fraction of its traditional measurement after the Tesla CEO fired greater than half of its 7,500 workers.

“RIPTwitter” and the names of rival social media networks together with Mastodon ranked amongst Twitter’s trending subjects in the US because the departures had been introduced.

Musk, who runs 4 different corporations together with Tesla and SpaceX, has attracted controversy for instituting radical modifications at Twitter since shopping for the corporate for $44bn late final month.

Twitter final week was pressured to droop a brand new $7.99 subscription service after Musk’s determination to scrap the platform’s verification insurance policies led to a flood of impersonator accounts, together with faux profiles of former United States President Donald Trump and NBA star LeBron James.

The upheaval on the social media big has prompted main manufacturers similar to Basic Motors, Audi, Basic Mills and United Airways to droop their promoting as they search readability on the platform’s moderation and misinformation insurance policies.

Musk earlier this week told a business forum he had “too much work” since buying Twitter and he doubted that most individuals would wish to be him.

US FTC says it’s watching Twitter with ‘deep concern’ | Business and Economy News

The USA Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) mentioned on Thursday it was watching Twitter with “deep concern” after the social media platform’s high privateness and compliance officers give up, probably placing it prone to violating regulatory orders.

The corporate’s chief safety officer, Lea Kissner, on Thursday in a tweet mentioned she give up. Chief Privateness Officer Damien Kieran and Chief Compliance Officer Marianne Fogarty have additionally resigned, in response to an inner message seen by the Reuters information company. World Head of Security and Integrity Yoel Roth later give up after Musk’s first all-hands assembly, the Washington Publish reported.

The departures come after the platform’s new proprietor, billionaire Elon Musk, moved swiftly to scrub home after taking over Twitter for $44bn late final month. He introduced plans to cut half its workforce final week, promised to cease pretend accounts and is charging $8 a month for the Twitter Blue service, which is able to embrace a blue examine verification.

“We’re monitoring latest developments at Twitter with deep concern,” Douglas Farrar, the FTC’s director of public affairs, informed Reuters.

“No CEO or firm is above the regulation and corporations should observe our consent decrees. Our revised consent order provides us new instruments to make sure compliance and we’re ready to make use of them,” Farrar mentioned.

Additionally on Thursday, tech information web site The Information reported Musk had warned Twitter’s remaining workers the corporate could have a web unfavourable money circulate of a number of billion {dollars} subsequent yr and that “chapter just isn’t out of the query” if it can not earn greater than it spends.

In Might, Twitter agreed to pay $150m to settle allegations by the FTC that it misused personal info, like telephone numbers, to focus on promoting to customers after telling them the data was collected just for safety causes.

A lawyer on Twitter’s privateness workforce reported the chief departures in a notice seen by Reuters and posted to Twitter’s Slack messaging system on Thursday.

Within the notice, the lawyer talked about listening to Twitter’s authorized chief Alex Spiro say Musk was keen to take a “enormous quantity of danger” with Twitter. “Elon places rockets into area, he’s not afraid of the FTC,” the lawyer quoted Spiro as saying.


Twitter didn’t reply to a request for touch upon the FTC warning, the notice from the lawyer or the departures. Spiro didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

‘Route of the platform beneath its new management’

Since taking cost, Musk has fired former Chief Govt Parag Agrawal and different high administration, and the corporate’s promoting and advertising and marketing chiefs left quickly afterwards including to issues Twitter doesn’t have sufficient folks to observe its compliance with laws.

The takeover has additionally sparked issues that Musk, who has usually waded into political debates, might face stress from international locations making an attempt to regulate on-line speech.

It prompted US President Joe Biden to say on Wednesday that Musk’s “cooperation and/or technical relationships with different international locations is worthy of being looked at.”

Musk informed advertisers on Wednesday, talking on Twitter’s Areas function, he aimed to show the platform right into a pressure for reality and cease pretend accounts, hoping to assuage advertisers rattled by the modifications on the firm.

His assurances might not be sufficient.

Chipotle Mexican Grill mentioned on Thursday it had pulled again its paid and owned content material on Twitter “whereas we acquire a greater understanding on the course of the platform beneath its new management”.

It joined different manufacturers together with Basic Motors which have paused promoting on Twitter since Musk took over, involved he’ll loosen content material moderation guidelines.

Musk despatched his first e-mail to Twitter workers on Thursday, saying distant work would now not be allowed and they’d be anticipated within the workplace for no less than 40 hours per week, in response to Bloomberg Information.

Within the e-mail, Musk mentioned he wished to see subscriptions account for half of Twitter’s income.

On Thursday Musk tweeted: “Far too many corrupt legacy Blue ‘verification’ checkmarks exist, so no alternative however to take away legacy Blue in coming months.”

The lawyer’s notice confirming the chief departures was first reported by tech information website The Verge.

Can Mastodon be a Twitter alternative? | Business and Economy News

With Twitter in disarray for the reason that world’s richest particular person took management of it final week, Mastodon, a decentralised, open various from privacy-obsessed Germany, has seen a flood of recent customers.

“The chook is free,” tweeted Tesla mogul Elon Musk when he accomplished his $44bn acquisition of Twitter. However many free-speech advocates reacted with dismay to the prospect of the world’s “city sq.” being managed by one particular person, and so they began on the lookout for different choices.

For probably the most half, Mastodon appears to be like like Twitter, with hashtags, political back-and-forth and tech banter jostling for house with cat photos.

However whereas Twitter and Fb are managed by one authority – an organization – Mastodon is put in on hundreds of pc servers, largely run by volunteer directors who be a part of their programs collectively in a federation.

Individuals swap posts and hyperlinks with others on their very own server – or Mastodon “occasion” – and in addition, virtually as simply, with customers on different servers throughout the rising community.

The fruit of six years’ work by Eugen Rochko, a younger German programmer, Mastodon was born of his need to create a public sphere that was past the management of a single entity. That work is beginning to repay.

“We’ve hit 1,028,362 month-to-month lively customers throughout the community at this time,” Rochko tooted – Mastodon’s model of tweeting – on Monday. “That’s fairly cool.”

That’s nonetheless tiny in contrast together with his established rivals. Twitter reported 238 million day by day lively customers as of the second quarter of 2022. Fb stated it had 1.98 billion day by day lively customers as of the third quarter.

However the leap in Mastodon customers in a matter of days has nonetheless been startling.

“I’ve gotten extra new followers on Mastodon within the final week than I’ve within the earlier 5 years,” Ethan Zuckerman, a social media knowledgeable on the College of Massachusetts at Amherst, wrote final week.

Earlier than Musk accomplished the Twitter acquisition on October 27, Mastodon’s progress averaged 60-80 new customers an hour, based on the widely-cited Mastodon Users account. It confirmed 3,568 new registrations in a single hour on Monday morning.

Rochko began Mastodon in 2017, when rumours had been spreading that PayPal founder and Musk ally Peter Thiel wished to purchase Twitter.

“A right-wing billionaire was going to purchase a de facto public utility that isn’t public,” Rochko advised Reuters earlier this 12 months. “It’s actually essential to have this world communications platform the place you’ll be able to be taught what’s taking place on the earth and chat to your pals. Why is that managed by one firm?”

Toots and cases

There isn’t any scarcity of different social networks able to welcome any Twitter exodus, from ByteDance’s Tiktok to Discord, a chat app now in style far past its unique constituency of avid gamers.

Mastodon’s advocates say its decentralised method makes it basically completely different. Moderately than go to Twitter’s centrally-provided service, each person can select their very own supplier, and even run their very own Mastodon occasion, a lot as customers can e-mail from Gmail or an employer-provided account or run their very own e-mail server.

No single firm or particular person can impose their will on the entire system or shut all of it down. If an extremist voice emerged with their very own server, the advocates say, it will be straightforward sufficient for different servers to chop ties with it, leaving it to speak to its personal shrinking band of followers and customers.

The federated method has downsides: it’s tougher to seek out individuals to comply with in Mastodon’s anarchic sprawl than on the neatly ordered city sq. that centrally administered Twitter or Fb can supply.

However Mastodon’s rising group of supporters say these are outweighed by some great benefits of its structure.

Rochko, whose Mastodon basis runs on a shoestring crowdfunded funds topped up with a modest grant from the European Fee, has discovered a very receptive viewers amongst privacy-conscious European regulators.

Germany’s knowledge safety commissioner is waging a marketing campaign to get authorities our bodies to shut their Fb pages, since, he says, there is no such thing as a manner of internet hosting a web page there that conforms to European privateness legal guidelines.

Authorities ought to transfer to the federal authorities’s personal Mastodon occasion, he says. The European Fee additionally maintains a server for European Union our bodies to toot from.

“No unique data ought to be despatched over a legally questionable platform,” knowledge commissioner Ulrich Kelber stated earlier this 12 months.

Whereas Mastodon is busier than ever earlier than, it nonetheless has few of the massive names from politics and showbiz which have made Twitter an addictive on-line residence for journalists particularly. Few know comedian Jan Boehmermann – Germany’s reply to John Oliver – exterior his nation, however extra names are arriving day by day.

For Rochko, the challenge’s solely full-time worker, programming at his residence in a small city in japanese Germany for a modest 2,400 euro ($2,405.86) month-to-month wage, the work continues.

“Would you consider me if I advised you I’m extraordinarily drained?” he tooted on Sunday.

Asia’s dissidents anxious over Elon Musk’s Twitter reign | Business and Economy News

Taipei, Taiwan – Singaporean activist and journalist Kirsten Han makes use of Twitter to speak about issues that Singapore’s authorities would somewhat hold secret.

Han’s outspoken posts draw consideration to the rights of migrant employees, the racism the federal government claims doesn’t exist and, most frequently, the tons of of executions of non-violent drug offenders carried out within the city-state over the previous few a long time.

For her work, Han has been condemned on the ground of Singapore’s parliament and focused by the police, one thing she additionally tweets about to the 29,000-odd followers of her verified account.

In June, Han was required to show over entry to her Twitter, Fb Instagram accounts when she was investigated beneath Singapore’s Public Order Act for holding a four-person vigil towards the dying penalty. Police cited Han’s postings on her social media accounts, together with Twitter, as proof for launching the probe, which is ongoing.

Han has no plans to cease utilizing Twitter, however how she makes use of it could change as the foundations governing the platform face a radical shake-up beneath new proprietor Elon Musk.

Musk plans to scrap Twitter’s id authentication system as quickly as this week, providing the distinctive blue examine mark, as soon as reserved for verified high-profile customers, to anyone willing to pay $8 a month.

Whereas Han continues to be ready for the main points of the modifications to unfold, she is anxious concerning the prospect of web trolls impersonating her and sowing confusion amongst her followers.

“I assume I’m going to lose the blue tick sooner or later, however then it additionally appears – as the main points come out – that the blue tick verification factor is simply going to be accessible to whoever pays,” Han advised Al Jazeera.

Extra essentially, Han worries that Musk doesn’t perceive the duty that’s now on his shoulders.

“He’s a businessman who, simply from statement, has a considerably overinflated sense of how certified he’s to do issues,” she stated.

“He doesn’t appear certified or actually that educated about how communication and social media and tech platforms work, and the obligations that they’ve, which is sort of worrying.”

Han just isn’t the one one worrying.

Authorities in Singapore tightly management protest and political speech within the city-state [File: Edgar Su/Reuters]

Throughout Asia, activists, journalists, and Twitter customers plugged into human rights and social justice points are anxious about how the social media platform will change beneath the management of the world’s richest man.

Many reside in international locations the place freedom of speech is severely curtailed by authorities. For such customers, Twitter could be a important window to the skin world, a uncommon platform for open debate – usually from behind the veil of anonymity – or each.

For critics, the issues vary from questions on Musk’s ideological leanings and his business interests in countries like China to doubts about his understanding of the complexities of social media.

The Tesla founder, a self-described “free speech absolutist” who has accused Twitter of exhibiting left-wing bias, has pledged to reshape moderation insurance policies on the platform to encourage the airing and debate of a wider spectrum of views.

On Friday, Musk set in movement a radical restructuring of the corporate by firing about half of Twitter’s 7,500 workers, together with your entire human rights group, based on former authorized counsel Shannon Raj Singh.

Al Jazeera didn’t obtain a response to requests for remark despatched to the Twitter accounts of the corporate’s communications groups or its head of security and integrity, Yael Roth.

In international locations like Myanmar, the place Twitter has performed an essential position in sharing data since a military coup in 2021, Musk’s takeover has prompted anxiousness and concern.

Regardless of a authorities crackdown on social media and each home and international media, nameless accounts have continued to disseminate details about state-sponsored violence and anti-government protests.

Yadanar Maung, a spokesperson for Justice for Myanmar, an account with 165,000 followers, stated Twitter had already been failing to counter psychological warfare and misinformation shared by Myanmar’s army administration on social media.

Now, issues might take a flip for the more serious as moderation turns into much more sparse and government-linked accounts proliferate, Maung stated.

“We’re involved that modifications will make Twitter extra harmful for Myanmar customers who’re beneath menace from an illegitimate army junta, and that Twitter beneath Elon Musk might present higher house for the junta and its supporters to unfold disinformation and hate speech,” Maung advised Al Jazeera.

Tesla’s largest manufacturing facility is positioned in Shanghai, China [File: Aly Song/Reuters]

Activists are additionally anxious about how Musk, the chief government of Tesla, SpaceX and Neuralink, could possibly be influenced by China, the place he has main enterprise pursuits.

Tesla has established its largest manufacturing facility in Shanghai and earlier this 12 months opened a showroom in Xinjiang, the place Beijing has carried out a prolonged marketing campaign of repression towards the Uighurs and different ethnic minority Muslims, whilst main Western manufacturers publicly distanced themselves from the area.

“The fear is that if Elon Musk is doubtlessly corrupt or making an attempt to appease the Chinese language authorities, he shall be handing over information and he shall be giving the Chinese language authorities entry to information,” Vicky Xu, an Australia-based researcher and journalist who has documented her harassment by pro-Beijing accounts on social media, advised Al Jazeera.

“Twitter is such an essential platform for advocacy and dissent. With Elon Musk, even when he’s by no means going handy over any information to China, even when the Chinese language authorities was not capable of affect him, there’s nonetheless a psychological worry that lots of dissidents or activists really feel that this platform is simply not as free as earlier than and it’s not as neutral as earlier than or not as pro-democracy as earlier than.”

Whereas Twitter, like different Western social media platforms, is blocked in China, Beijing oversees a lot of state-sponsored “wolf warrior” accounts that undertaking its messaging and monitor the social media exercise of Chinese language dissidents residing overseas.

Many of those accounts additionally harass customers who publish about points deemed delicate to China, akin to Taiwan’s political standing or political repression in Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Tibet.

Sandra, a Hong Kong-based Chinese language-language Twitter account with greater than 47,000 followers, stated a priority for dissidents like her is the abuse of Twitter’s perform for reporting inappropriate content material by state-backed accounts and bots.

The Hong Kong democracy activist stated she was suspended from Twitter for six months in 2019 after being focused by pro-Beijing accounts for posting concerning the metropolis’s anti-government protests.

Sandra stated many Chinese language dissident accounts have confronted related points, with appeals taking months to achieve a decision.

It’s unclear if the state of affairs will worsen with fewer “guard rails” on the platform, she stated, whereas there may be additionally concern about whether or not Chinese language state media will proceed to be clearly labelled as such.

Sandra, who requested to stay nameless because of the sweeping crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong, stated she was nonetheless ready to see how the modifications would play out.

“I’ve not determined but,” she advised Al Jazeera.

Pravit Rojanaphruk
Veteran Thai journalist Pravit Rojanaphruk says many Thais are anxious about what’s going to occur to their private information after Musk’s takeover of Twitter [File: AP Photo]

In Thailand, Twitter is without doubt one of the few areas the place residents can benefit from anonymity to debate the way forward for the monarchy with out risking jail beneath the nation’s powerful lèse-majesté legal guidelines.

Pravit Rojanaphruk, an award-winning journalist who was beforehand charged with sedition for criticising the army authorities, stated many Thais are anxious about what’s going to occur to their private information and whether or not military-backed accounts will proliferate.

“Twitter is without doubt one of the two premier or hottest social media apps with regards to political dialogue. It’s the least censored in Thailand, even in comparison with Fb. Lots of the Thai customers are literally utilizing a nom de plume,” Pravit advised Al Jazeera.

“They aren’t utilizing an actual id with regards to delicate discussions concerning the monarchy, and we don’t know [how] Elon Musk goes to interpret this debate about utilizing nameless accounts.”

How will Elon Musk shape Twitter? | TV Shows

Video Length 24 minutes 40 seconds

From: Inside Story

Twitter’s new proprietor, Elon Musk, has fired almost half of the corporate’s workforce.

For a person who likes to make headlines, spending $44bn to purchase one of many greatest social media platforms on the earth is one method to obtain that.

However the deal by the world’s richest man has been troubled from the beginning.

Musk tried to again out, earlier than signing final week, averting a significant court docket battle.

No sooner had the ink dried on the deal, he then set about firing almost half of Twitter’s workforce by e-mail after they have been locked out of the corporate’s IT methods.

A few of these gone embody employees with human rights and hate speech experience.

Twitter had been moderating content material – notably expelling former US President Donald Trump.

Some main advertisers now say they’re withholding their enterprise till they see what occurs subsequent.

So what’s subsequent for Twitter?

Presenter: Mohammed Jamojoom


Marc Einstein – Digital Media Specialist with the ITR Company in Kyoto, Japan.

Cara Brennan Allamano – Chief Individuals Officer at Lattice, a individuals administration software program firm in San Francisco.

Adrian Weckler – Expertise Editor of the Irish Unbiased newspaper in Dublin, European HQ of Twitter.

Twitter launches $8 monthly subscription with blue checkmark | News

Twitter begins subscription service that features blue checkmark that at present is given solely to verified accounts.

Twitter has launched a subscription service for $7.99 a month that features a blue examine now given solely to verified accounts as new owner Elon Musk overhauls the platform’s verification system simply forward of midterm elections in the US.

In an replace to Apple iOS gadgets, Twitter on Saturday stated customers who “join now” can obtain the blue check next to their names “similar to the celebrities, firms and politicians you already observe”. To this point, verified accounts don’t seem like dropping their checks.

Anybody having the ability to get the blue examine may result in confusion and the rise of disinformation forward of Tuesday’s elections if imposters resolve to pay for the subscription and co-opt the names of politicians and election officers.

Together with widespread layoffs that started Friday, many concern the social platform that public businesses, election boards, police departments and information shops use to maintain individuals reliably knowledgeable may turn out to be lawless if content material moderation and verification are chipped away.

The change represents the tip of Twitter’s present verification system, which was launched in 2009 to stop impersonations of high-profile accounts reminiscent of celebrities and politicians.

Earlier than the overhaul, Twitter had about 423,000 verified accounts, a lot of them rank-and-file journalists from across the globe that the corporate verified no matter what number of followers they’d.

Consultants have raised grave issues about upending the platform’s verification system that, whereas not good, has helped Twitter’s 238 million each day customers decide whether or not the accounts they have been getting data from have been genuine.

Present verified accounts embody celebrities, athletes, influencers and different high-profile public figures, together with authorities businesses and politicians worldwide, journalists and information shops, activists, in addition to companies and types.

Additionally on Saturday, UN human rights chief Volker Turk urged Musk to make sure respect for human rights is central to the social community, in an open letter.

“Like all firms, Twitter wants to grasp the harms related to its platform and take steps to handle them. Respect for our shared human rights ought to set the guardrails for the platform’s use and evolution. Briefly, I urge you to make sure human rights are central to the administration of Twitter beneath your management,” Turk wrote.

Within a week of takeover, Musk launches layoffs across Twitter | Business and Economy News

Twitter Inc began a sizeable spherical of layoffs on Friday, alerting staff of their job standing by electronic mail after barring entrances to workplaces and slicing off staff’ entry to inner programs in a single day.

The transfer follows every week of chaos and uncertainty concerning the firm’s future below new proprietor Elon Musk, the world’s richest individual, who tweeted on Friday that the service was experiencing a “massive drop in revenue” as advertisers pulled spending.

Musk didn’t affirm or right investor Ron Baron at a Friday convention in New York when he requested the billionaire Tesla CEO how a lot cash he would save after he “fired half of Twitter”.

Musk responded by speaking about Twitter’s price and income challenges and blamed a coalition of civil rights teams who urged massive firms to halt promoting on the platform. Musk has not commented on the layoffs themselves.

“In an effort to position Twitter on a wholesome path, we are going to undergo the tough means of lowering our world workforce on Friday,” Twitter mentioned in an electronic mail to employees on Thursday night, seen by the Reuters information company, asserting the cuts that got here on Friday.

The corporate was silent concerning the depth of the cuts, though inner plans reviewed by Reuters this week indicated Musk was seeking to minimize about 3,700 Twitter employees, or about half the workforce.

Workers who labored in engineering, communications, product, content material curation and machine studying ethics have been amongst these affected by the layoffs, in line with tweets from Twitter employees.

Shannon Raj Singh, a lawyer who was Twitter’s performing head of human rights, tweeted on Friday that the whole human rights workforce on the firm had been minimize.

Musk has promised to revive free speech whereas stopping Twitter from descending right into a “hellscape”. Nevertheless, his reassurances have didn’t calm giant advertisers, which have expressed apprehension about his takeover for months.

Volkswagen AG beneficial its manufacturers pause paid promoting on Twitter till additional discover within the wake of Musk’s takeover, it mentioned on Friday. Its feedback echoed comparable remarks from different firms, together with Common Motors Co and Common Mills Inc.

Angelo Carusone, president of Media Issues for America, a left-wing media watchdog and a part of the civil rights coalition, mentioned he knew of two extra massive advertisers that have been getting ready to announce that they might pause advertisements on the platform.

Musk tweeted that his workforce had made no modifications to content material moderation and finished “every part we might” to appease the teams. “Extraordinarily tousled! They’re (civil rights teams) attempting to destroy free speech in America.”

Twitter didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Eddie Perez, a Twitter civic integrity workforce supervisor who give up in September, mentioned he fears the layoffs so near the US midterms might enable disinformation to “unfold like wildfire”, particularly throughout the post-election vote-counting interval.

“I’ve a tough time believing that it doesn’t have a cloth affect on their capability to handle the quantity of disinformation on the market,” he mentioned, including there merely will not be sufficient staff to beat it again.

Dozens of staffers tweeted they’d misplaced entry to work electronic mail and Slack channels earlier than receiving an official discover, which they took as an indication they’d been laid off.

From different parts of the world, they tweeted blue hearts and salute emojis expressing assist for each other, utilizing the hashtags #OneTeam and #LoveWhereYouWorked, a past-tense model of a slogan staff had used for years to have a good time the corporate’s work tradition.

Twitter’s curation workforce, which is accountable for “highlighting and contextualizing one of the best occasions and tales that unfold on Twitter”, had been axed, staff mentioned on the platform. The corporate’s communications workforce in India has additionally been laid off, in line with a Twitter govt in Asia.

A workforce that targeted on analysis into how Twitter employed algorithms, a problem that was a precedence for Musk, was additionally eradicated, according to a tweet from a former senior supervisor at Twitter.

Senior executives, together with Vice President of Engineering Arnaud Weber, additionally mentioned their goodbyes on Twitter on Friday: “Twitter nonetheless has lots of unlocked potential however I’m happy with what we achieved,” he tweeted.

Staff of Twitter Blue, a premium subscription service, have been additionally let go. An worker with the deal with “SillyRobin” who had indicated they have been laid off, quote-tweeted Musk’s earlier tweet saying Twitter Blue would come with a “paywall bypass” for sure publishers.

“Simply to be clear, he fired the workforce engaged on this,” the worker mentioned.

Twitter’s head of Security & Integrity, Yoel Roth, appeared to have stored his job, as did Vice President of Product Keith Coleman, who launched a software known as Birdwatch for customers to jot down notes on tweets they determine as deceptive.

Final week, Musk endorsed Roth, citing his “excessive integrity” after Roth was known as out over tweets vital of former US President Donald Trump years earlier. Musk has additionally tweeted that he likes Birdwatch.

Roth and Coleman didn’t reply to requests for remark. In a tweet, Roth mentioned: “Tweeps: My DMs are at all times open to you. Inform me how I can assist.”

Doorways locked

Twitter mentioned in its electronic mail to staffers that workplaces could be briefly closed and badge entry suspended “to assist guarantee the protection of every worker in addition to Twitter programs and buyer information”.

Places of work in London and Dublin appeared abandoned on Friday, with no staff in sight. On the London workplace, any proof Twitter had as soon as occupied the constructing was erased.

A receptionist at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters mentioned a couple of folks had trickled in and have been engaged on the flooring above regardless of the discover to remain away.

A category motion was filed on Thursday within the US – pre-emptively on Thursday night – in opposition to Twitter by its staff, who argued the corporate was conducting mass layoffs with out offering the required 60-day advance discover, in violation of US federal and California legislation, Bloomberg Information reported.

The lawsuit additionally requested the San Francisco federal courtroom to challenge an order to limit Twitter from soliciting staff being laid off to signal paperwork with out informing them of the pendency of the case.

The velocity of the layoffs might additionally open Musk and Twitter as much as discrimination claims if it seems, as an illustration, that they disproportionally affected girls, folks of color or older staff.

Employment lawyer Peter Rahbar mentioned most employers “take nice care in doing layoffs of this magnitude” to verify they’re justified and don’t unfairly discriminate or deliver undesirable consideration to the corporate.

“For some purpose, he needs to put off half the corporate with out doing any due diligence on what these folks do or who they’re and with none regards to the legislation,” Rahbar mentioned.

The layoffs come at a troublesome time for social media firms, as advertisers are scaling again and newcomers – primarily TikTok – are threatening older platforms like Twitter and Fb.

Musk aiming to charge for Twitter check mark from Monday: Reports | Technology News

Social media big’s new proprietor is reported to be planning to launch $8 subscription service from subsequent week.

Elon Musk plans to start out charging for Twitter’s blue verify mark as early as subsequent week, in response to media experiences, because the billionaire’s closely-watched plans for the social media big quickly take form.

Musk is aiming to launch his $8 subscription service for customers who need to get hold of or hold the verify mark from Monday, The New York Instances and Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing inside paperwork and other people conversant in the matter, respectively.

The Tesla CEO’s plans come because the billionaire seeks to spice up revenues and crack down on spam accounts after finishing his $44bn purchase of the platform last week.

Regardless of its influential place in politics and journalism, Twitter, which launched in 2006, has not often turned a revenue and reported a internet lack of $270m within the second quarter of this yr.

Underneath Twitter’s present system, well-known customers and accounts thought-about to be of public curiosity can apply for a verify mark to confirm their identification freed from cost.

Initially launched to forestall accounts from impersonating public figures, the verify mark has come to be considered as a standing image and, to critics, a mark of liberal elitism.

Underneath Musk’s deliberate overhaul, customers would not be required to authenticate their identification, in response to the New York Instances.

The modifications will probably be initially launched in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and current customers may have an interim interval to subscribe or lose their verify mark, the newspaper stated.

In a collection of tweets on Tuesday, Musk described the present verification process for high-profile accounts as “bullsh*t” and a “lords and peasants system”.

“Energy to the individuals! Blue for $8/month,” Musk tweeted.

Musk can be planning to chop as many as half of the San Francisco-based firm’s 7,500 workers, in response to experiences by Bloomberg and The Verge.

Musk’s takeover of the platform has turn into a lightning rod for the heated debate on free speech, misinformation and on-line hate within the social media age.

Musk, a self-described “free-speech absolutist”, has criticised Twitter’s moderation insurance policies and accused the corporate of favouring left-wing views.

Whereas critics have expressed fears that Musk’s possession of the platform may pave the way in which to extra hate speech and misinformation, many conservatives have welcomed the takeover as an antidote to Massive Tech censorship of politically incorrect speech.

Musk, who has solid himself as a political reasonable, has spoken of the necessity for a “widespread digital city sq.” that permits a variety of views whereas insisting he doesn’t favour a “free-for-all hellscape”.

Regardless of Musk’s reassurances, massive manufacturers, together with Basic Motors, Basic Mills and Audi have paused their promoting on the platform as they search readability on its route underneath its new proprietor.

Twitter generates greater than 90 % of its income from promoting, which raked in $4.5bn final yr. Musk has stated he desires to minimize the corporate’s reliance on advertisers.

Why Twitter under Elon Musk is good news for China’s rulers | Social Media

Over the previous decade, Twitter has been a uncommon outlet the place folks in China who can’t stand authorities censorship of home social media have been capable of specific themselves. “Right here aren’t any delicate phrases, no messages that may’t be displayed ‘in accordance with the related legal guidelines’, and no threat of getting our account shut down at any motion,” wrote a user in China again in 2016.

Different dangers definitely existed. Twitter is blocked in China. Those that depend on circumvention instruments like digital non-public networks (VPNs) to share their views on the platform have at instances paid a private worth. In February 2020, Zhou Shaoqing, a resident of the northeastern metropolis of Tianjin, tweeted to his 300 or so followers in regards to the authorities’ dealing with of the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that officers would “deliberately or in any other case, scale back the variety of confirmed instances”. For that and different related tweets, a neighborhood courtroom handed Zhou a nine-month prison sentence for “selecting quarrels and frightening bother”.

But regardless of the federal government’s crackdown, my interplay with Twitter workers means that the corporate itself has historically been fast to react to requests to guard the accounts of Chinese language human rights defenders (though some activists have criticised Twitter for not appearing shortly sufficient). Twitter additionally labels content material and accounts from authorities officers and state-affiliated media shops all over the world. The labelling of Chinese language state media has led to a major drop in engagements with these accounts.

Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter threatens to vary that equation between the platform and China. Already, it’s sparking issues amongst Chinese language customers. “People, bear in mind to delete your telephone quantity out of your Twitter … After buying Twitter, [I hope] Musk wouldn’t promote person privateness to point out his allegiance [to the Chinese government,]” a person tweeted in Chinese language.

Musk could be the planet’s richest man, however he’s significantly vulnerable to pressures from the world’s strongest authoritarian authorities — one which has been deft at manipulating or leveraging international companies’ entry to the nation to compel them to toe the Communist Celebration line.

Musk has important enterprise pursuits in China. The nation is Tesla’s second-largest market, and gross sales in China have increased considerably up to now couple of years. Tesla’s plant in Shanghai is the world’s largest electrical car manufacturing unit and the corporate’s major export hub. In January, Tesla opened a showroom in Xinjiang that drew criticism from members of the US Congress and rights teams due to the Chinese language authorities’s crimes towards humanity focused on the area’s Uighur and different Turkic Muslim communities.

Final month, Musk prompt that Taiwan conform to being partly administered by China as a technique to resolve their tensions. The proposal was welcomed by Beijing however slammed in Taipei.

His early strikes after buying Twitter don’t encourage confidence. Musk fired Vijaya Gadde, the official answerable for belief and security on the platform. The Washington Post has reported {that a} first spherical of layoffs would goal about 25 p.c of the corporate’s workforce, with an emphasis on departments together with authorized, belief and security.

Musk has announced the formation of a content material advisory board and mentioned that no main content material selections can be made earlier than it convenes. Nonetheless, inside hours of Musk’s takeover, extremist voices flooded the platform, and Musk himself on Sunday tweeted, after which deleted, an article that made an unfounded allegation in regards to the assault on United States Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband.

All of this has renewed issues about how Musk — who had been vital of Twitter’s content material moderation insurance policies — will deal with the social media platform, which is already rife with disinformation campaigns, organised trolls and makes an attempt at censorship by governments.

The Chinese language authorities has repeatedly proven it cares enormously about its picture outdoors of the nation. Its diplomats, state media shops and their journalists use Twitter to disseminate authorities propaganda.

They’ve stepped up efforts to spread disinformation on the platform in recent times, creating quite a few pretend accounts that defend the federal government’s positions on Hong Kong, Xinjiang, COVID-19 and different points. They’ve additionally been targeting Twitter customers in China, jailing those that criticise the federal government, and forcing them to delete delicate tweets or shut their accounts.

But, till now, Twitter has largely upheld its personal insurance policies, together with when that has meant taking down Chinese language government-linked disinformation campaigns. In December 2021, Twitter mentioned it removed 2,048 accounts that “amplified Chinese language Communist Celebration narratives associated to the therapy of the Uyghur inhabitants”.

These actions wouldn’t have made Beijing completely satisfied. Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has now created a possibility for China to affect the discourse on the social media platform.

There are many examples that reveal how this may work: The Chinese language authorities has pressured quite a few multinationals to grovel, with a view to proceed to entry the nation’s market and its provide chains.

Apple eliminated lots of of VPN apps from China’s App Retailer, making it almost inconceivable for customers within the nation to avoid authorities censorship and to guard their digital footprint. Firm administration reportedly warned the creators of a number of the reveals on Apple TV+ to keep away from portraying China in a adverse mild, affecting what folks all over the world can watch via its streaming companies (Apple didn’t reply to those reviews).

In 2020, an agent affiliated with the Chinese language authorities infiltrated Zoom and shut down on-line conferences held within the US in regards to the 1989 Tiananmen Sq. bloodbath.

Beijing additionally promoted boycotts of corporations which have publicly expressed issues about pressured labour and different human rights abuses in Xinjiang. The US chipmaker Intel has apologised for its letter telling suppliers to not supply from Xinjiang and Japanese clothes retailer Muji really advertises using cotton sourced from the area, in a bid to enchantment to Chinese language prospects.

Chinese language authorities officers are already calling for Musk to take away labels, or, as they are saying, “biased phrases,” to Twitter accounts linked to state media.

We requested Musk for touch upon our issues however had not heard again on the time of publication.

Twitter has a duty to respect human rights and treatment abuses underneath the United Nations Guiding Principles on Enterprise and Human Rights — no matter authorities strain or the corporate proprietor’s private beliefs.

This implies the corporate should tackle hostile human rights impacts that stem from firm practices or operations. No matter adjustments are made at Twitter they need to maintain the rights and security of customers throughout China — in addition to different at-risk folks all over the world — at their centre.

A lot is at stake in these selections. Automobile gross sales should not decide Twitter’s relationship with China’s authoritarian authorities.

The views expressed on this article are the creator’s personal and don’t essentially mirror Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

What will Elon Musk do with Twitter? | TV Shows

Video Period 24 minutes 50 seconds

From: Inside Story

The world’s richest man has taken cost of one of many largest social media platforms.

After months of uncertainty and a protracted authorized battle, the world’s wealthiest particular person has taken cost of one of the crucial influential social media platforms.

However it isn’t but clear what Elon Musk intends to do with Twitter.

There has already been a staffing shake-up, with Musk firing at the very least 4 prime executives.

And there are speculations that he might reinstate banned Twitter accounts.

Many right-wing political figures see his takeover as a win totally free speech, whereas others are involved it might give rise to extra hate speech on Twitter.

So, what’s subsequent for Twitter?

Presenter: Sami Zeidan


Suzanne Nossel – CEO of PEN America, a number one human rights organisation, and writer of Dare to Communicate: Defending Free Speech for All

Matt Navarra – Social media guide and former digital communications adviser to the UK authorities

Bradley Tusk – Co-founder at Tusk Enterprise Companions and adjunct professor at Columbia Enterprise College